City Council Mess
October 24, 2013 | 06:57 PM

I went to the candidate forum at Johns Creek High last night and I have read the entire 28 page interim report.

I think Mr. Appen is entirely correct. It seems clear to me that the current city manager in conjunction with most of the city council are working together to get rid of the mayor who evidently they don't like. This to some degree is all normal politics except instead of just supporting someone else for mayor they have tried to tar and feather the current mayor using the power of the council and taxpayer dollars to force him from office. The other problem is that the city manager should be apolitical. He is a hired professional and should keep his nose out of politics above his level. Its clear those boundaries have been crossed. Based upon the city manager's employment record of job hopping from one city to another plus run ins with the law he seems problematic. Finally the city managers refusal to apologize for his actions should result in his dismissal. Anyone can lose their temper but after cooling down being unwilling to admit a mistake and apologize is not pardonable. Especially since the fight was one of politics which he as a professional employee should have stayed out of.

In speaking to one of the council members at the forum last evening it was made pretty clear that the city manager will not be terminated even though he has refused to apologize for his actions. The will probably suspend him with pay for a couple of weeks. That tells me right there that the faction against Bodker is pretty well working in conjunction with the city manager as Mr. Appen alludes.

I am not here to say that Bodker is completely free from sin but in reading the report there is very little actual meat on the bone. Perhaps he got a rental discount on a townhouse. Maybe not. Was that due to him being mayor or being friends with the landlord for over 20 years? Did it affect any zoning votes? As best as I can tell no because all of the zoning votes in question passed unanimously. Should Bodker have recused himself? Probably. Would it have changed the vote? No. Is this a major scandal? No. There were a few other things raised but if this is all they can find on the mayor after 7 years in office I think we are in good shape. Just look at the scandals down in Atlanta or in DeKalb county for what real ethics violations that get the GBI's attention look like in comparison.

Ironically the city council group wanting oust Bodker have all taken $2,500 campaign contributions from the city's outsourced law firm (in the past Bodker has as well but was not so honored this year- evidently the city manager and city contractors are all on the same page). So the council, which has indirect control over paying the city's law firm about $300,000 per year, finds it OK to take campaign contributions from the same law firm? What hypocrites! The council member I mentioned this to last night said it was legal under Georgia law. I don't care if taking campaign contributions from city contractors is legal in Georgia- its a blatant conflict of interest (and the source of another scandal in DeKalb County). If they really care about ethics they would refuse cash from folks who work for the city. So, I can find dirt and questionable ethics on both sides not to mention the blatantly political timing of all of this. Its a neat trick to be a politician who can use taxpayer money to go on a fishing expedition against political enemies. This is a disgusting mess.

My opinion is to vote out the city council folks running for re-election so we have some new folks, re-elect Bodker as Bev Miller is clearly involved in this political mess as well and then make sure that Bodker does not run or does not win a 4th term. In so doing we don't reward the city council folks who have started this mess and wasted our money and allow Bodker after 3 terms to retire and move on.

People in Glass Houses.....
Johns Creek